• Since starting my handcrafted jewelry business , I've displayed my items at many craft shows, fairs, festivals, home jewelry parties, etc. I often have a show two or three days a week. I have picked up many display ideas along the way. I have, also, had other vendors incorporate my ideas into their own displays.

    One of the most important things to remember, is that you want your display to be appealing to the customer. Your jewelry or craft may be beautiful, however, that won't matter if the display doesn't look enticing enough for the potential customer to come take a look.

    When it comes to jewelry, I find organization of items is very important. I have seen displays in which other jewelry designers have no particular organization in there presentation. That is their choice. I have had MANY customers comment on how much easier and quicker it is to find what they're looking for when a display is organized.

    Here are some tips and ideas for displaying jewelry items:

    TIP #1:

    -Display jewelry sets together. For instance, I display my chakra jewelry together on one mirror.

    TIP #2:

    - Display jewelry pieces for each category (ex. necklaces, bracelets, earrings, etc.) in the same general area. It will be easier for your customers to locate specific items.

    TIP #3:

    - Organize bracelets by style, gemstone, color, etc. Whatever seems best for you. I separate my bracelet displays by gemstones. For example: I may have quartz, jade and carnelian bracelets on one display, my awareness bracelets on another, and so on.

    TIP #4:

    - Earring displays are personal preference. I have seen some designers display their earrings on hanging displays without an earring card, some prefer to hang them on a board display or earring rack, others use a rotating display. I use a rotating earring rack, as it takes up less space and I am able to display over 100 pairs of earrings. I use black flock earring cards to hang my earrings on and I include rubber earring backs with my earrings. This helps to keep the earrings in place on the card and offers the customer an added bonus to the earrings .

    TIP #5:

    -Be creative when displaying your jewelry pieces. I use black velvet and white leatherette jewelry displays, beveled mirrors and wire jewelry holders. Mirrors are a great way to display your jewelry-they are simple, inexpensive and elegant! I use them to display my featured pieces and jewelry sets. Beveled mirrors can be purchased in a variety of sizes at your local craft store or jewelry supplier.

    TIP #6:

    - It is not recommended to use flat displays. A lot of shows will not accept a vendor if they have a flat table display. It's just not attractive! It is also recommended to have more than one tier in your display. I use the shelf from an old computer desk. I cover it with a piece of black velvet material and sit it on the back center of my table. It is perfect for displaying my business sign, a few necklace stands and smaller pieces of jewelry.

    TIP #7:

    -Cover your table! What colors you choose are up to you. However, if you choose a pattern that is too "busy", it may take away from your jewelry. I use black tablecloths when displaying my jewelry. To accent the black color, I use runners or large fabric table napkins in the colors of the season. I'll use rust colors in the fall, red and green in the winter..you get the idea. I also, display inexpensive "props" on my table. I use small wood pumpkins, small candles, clip on ornaments, etc. Make your table appealing to the buyer!

    TIP #8:

    - Include a business card display on your table. This will promote your business and lead to repeat customers.

    TIP#9:

    -Make signs. I use tent cards to make it easier for customers to find what they're looking for. I design my own tent cards on the computer using tent card sheets or card stock. I then cut them to the size I want. I label each of my categories with a tent card. For example: "Awareness Bracelets","Men's Jewelry","Children's Jewelry", "Anklets". I also make tent cards labeled with my services. For example: "Custom Orders Available", "Host a Jewelry Party", "Bracelet Lengths Can be Adjusted".

    TIP #10

    -Make sure you have a business sign. Promote, promote, promote! Make or purchase a sign with your business name, logo and/or description. I have an 8" x 10" sign on my table display ( I designed and printed my own sign out on the computer and put it into a picture frame) and I also have a vinyl sign that hangs in front of my table. If you're interested in a vinyl sign, you can make your own using a vinyl sign kit (available in craft stores) or you can purchase one from a sign company.

    It's best to make your display neat and professional, and let your personality reflect on it.

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  • These easy kids crafts projects are designed using recyclable items and other materials you would normally find around your house. So the next time you hear "I'm b-o-o-o-ored," whip a few things out of your cupboards and let the fun begin!

    Glimmer Paints

    A puffy, glossy paint that sparkles when dry.

    Materials:

        cup salt
        cup all-purpose flour
        cup water
        food coloring

    Mix salt, flour, and water. The mixture should be about the consistency of pudding. Add food coloring until the desired shade is reached, then use a funnel to transfer the paint to a squeeze bottle. You can also transfer the paints to ziplock bags, then snip off one tiny corner of each bag,

    Use these paints on heavy paper (cut a paper bag apart into one big sheet) and allow paintings to air-dry overnight.

    Store leftover paints in the refrigerator in airtight containers for up to three days stir or shake before using.

    Beautiful Butterflies

    Materials:

        pipe cleaners (assorted colors)
        coffee filters (large size)
        water-based markers
        small spray bottle filled with water (optional)

    Give each child a coffee filter and have them color on it with markers.

    Hold up the coffee filter, and spray with water or dip fingers in water and shake them at the coffee filter. Watch as the colors spread and run together.

    Once the filter is dry, bunch it in the middle and wrap a pipe cleaner around it. Make sure you leave a little extra pipe cleaner to make two antennas.

    Secret Pictures

    With the stub of a white candle or a white crayon, draw a picture, pressing hard. Your picture will be invisible until you paint over it with a watercolor wash.

    Put a few drops of water on your chosen watercolor. While the paint is getting soft, use your brush and clean water to stroke across your paper to make it completely wet. Be careful not to scrub the paper.

    Load your paintbrush with color and, starting at the top, stroke from one edge of the paper across to the other, all the way. Continue loading and stroking until the whole paper is covered with paint.

    Look at your drawing now. Was it a success? Did you press hard enough with the crayon or wax to make the lines show through the paint? Was your paint dark enough so that the lines were clearly visible?

    Bread Art

    Materials:

        white bread
        food coloring
        1 drinking cup for each color
        milk
        new or very clean paintbrush
        toaster

    Pour a small amount of milk into each cup. Add a few drops of food coloring to the cups (a different color in each cup).

    Using a paintbrush, paint designs or pictures onto the bread. Don't soak the bread. Use just enough "paint" for the picture to show. Now toast the bread for edible art!

    Crystal Rock Garden

    Materials:

        water
        alum (found in the spice section of supermarkets)
        clear glass bowl
        clean rocks and pebbles

    Bring cup of water to a boil. Add 2 ounces of alum, stirring until the alum is dissolved.

    Pour the solution into a clear glass bowl half filled with assorted clean rocks and pebbles. Within hours you should be able to see alum crystals forming as glasslike squares. Within several days you should have a number of crystals to look at.

    Lifesaver "Glass"

    Cover cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Sort several rolls of clear Lifesavers candies by color into plastic bags, and crush with a rolling pin or roll a bottle over them.

    Using refrigerated sugar cookie dough, have kids roll balls of dough into ropes, then shape the ropes into shapes that are hollow in the middle (circle, triangle, heart, etc.). Place on cookie sheet and fill in blank spaces with crushed candies. Bake 8 to 10 minutes at 375 degrees. When completely cool, peel off aluminum foil. These are called "stained glass" cookies.

    If you wish to hang your ornaments, after removing from oven and while the "glass" is still warm, push a straw into the "glass" to make a hole which you can string a ribbon through after the ornament cools.

    Remove the straw when the cookies are cool enough to touch but not completely hardened.

    Foil Family

    Unlike your average tin men, these foil characters have plenty of heart. All it takes is a pinch here and there to make them strike any pose you like.

    Tear a rectangular sheet (about 10 by 15 inches) from a roll of aluminum foil.

    Make two cuts down from the top of the sheet and one cut up from the bottom. (For a pet, make two cuts up from the bottom.)

    Scrunch together the center of the sheet to form a torso. Pinch and mold the upper corners into arms, and the lower corners into legs and feet. Shape the upper midsection into a head and neck. (The lower midsection makes the tail of the pet.)

    Plastic Berry Baskets

    There are lots of fun things you can do with those green plastic baskets that strawberries and other berries come in.

    Bubble Blower: Fill a bucket with water and a squirt of two of liquid soap. Dip bottom of basket into the soap solution and wave slowly in the air to make hundreds of tiny bubbles.

    Crazy Paint: Press the bottom of the basket into one or more colors of paint. Using the basket like a stamp, press it onto fabric, or a home made book cover, or furniture such as a table, stool or chair.

    Snowflakes: Cut out the bottom of the basket. Use as is or make extra snips to get your desired shape. Dip in glue, dip in glitter and attach a hanger.

    Doll Houses: Cut up to make fencing, lattice, garden arbors

    Snowflakes: Cut away the sides of the basket so that you have 3 flat sections of basket material. Use scissors to snip away portions of the basket to get your desired shape. Dip in glue, dip in glitter and attach ribbon or string to hang your snowflake.


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  • If you've been looking to increase your wire wrapping skills as of late, Weave, Wrap Coil by Jodi Bombadier is the right book for you. This book, Creating Artisan Jewelry: Weave, Wrap, Coil will surely offer an element of sophistication and grace to any wire wrapper's jewelry. The author can also help teach you how to do simple wire weaving, an added and unexpected bonus found in this book.

    Jodi starts out explaining her own path into wire wrapping and what factors played a part in her draw to wire jewelry. After reading the next section, Fundamentals of Wire, you'll be able to move onto the books' projects easily. Next, Jodi explains the very few simple tools you'll need to get yourself started making wire jewelry. If you want to learn how to weave wire, the Techniques section will provide you with five simple and easy weaving patterns to choose from. For anyone wanting to enhance their wire working skills, this section is a real bonus to have included.

    Next is where the book starts to get into its' actual projects. Almost anyone could find a project here to match and/or stretch their own skill levels. The beginner projects total nine and has three earrings, one pendant, two rings, two bracelets and a basket weave cuff included. This cuff is particularly appealing. While a simple project, it's gracefully designed and quite elegant. See the end wires to appreciate her lovely design sense and how beautifully she finishes the ends off.

    Nine more interesting (and some challenging) projects can be found in the Intermediate projects section. A diverse, varied selection of projects is located here as well.

    A pleasing assortment of advanced projects intended for the more skilled or experienced art wire jeweler is available in the last section of Creating Artisan Jewelry: Weave, Wrap, Coil. There are a total of seven projects in this section: rings, bracelets, pendants and one cuff. If you've ever wanted to learn simple ways to weave wire, you'll be pleased to find those projects included here, too.

    Weave, Wrap, Coil: Creating Artisan Jewelry by Jodi Bombadier is an impressive book with its twenty-five projects for all levels of skill and interest. You'll find many of the book's projects having twenty or more step-by-step instructions and you'll also find that there are very detailed illustrations in this book. The layout of the book is quite well done in addition. Adding to the fact that this book has numerous excellent projects, Jodi adds her beautiful, elegant and sophisticated design sensibilities to a craft that often lacks exactly that. This is a very nicely done book indeed.

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  • Christmas is surely the most awaited time of the year for kids and kids at heart alike - it's like celebrating your birthday all over again! One way to prepare the children for this very special event is to make cheap and easy kids Christmas craft that will keep them excited while waiting for Christmas day to come.

    There are a lot of kids Christmas craft ideas out there and what we would like to do are the ones that build rapport between parents and their children. In this way, the child can really cherish nice Christmas memories that he too can share to his future children as well. Doing yearly kids Christmas craft is like building your own Christmas tradition at home; it is a private event that your kids will look forward to each year (well, aside from the presents).

    Making a Christmas calendar as kids Christmas craft is really one great way of starting your own family Christmas tradition at home - the parents and children mark the days together before Christmas day comes. As parents, you can feel the children's excitement! Now, what's more satisfying than that? By joining your children with this simple Christmas tradition you can reminisce with your own Christmas memories as a kid too!

    You get a lot of bonding moments with your children by this Christmas calendar because even before the month of December comes you can already spend time with your kids making this cheap and easy kids Christmas craft ahead of time. Now that's a plus! You can even make any design you want, out of the many patterns available using readily accessible materials at home.

    One very cute design is using Santa's face as the Christmas Calendar! You get to experience waiting for Christmas day to come and seeing Santa's beard grow longer each and every day. Your kids will surely enjoy making this cheap and easy kids Christmas craft and at the same time enjoy marking the days of December!

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